THE SOUTH Korean military has ordered a search in southern Seoul, as well as in Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces to verify whether landmines and other ammunitions were washed into populated areas following torrential rains this week, officials said on Thursday.
It has also sent some 1,700 troops and heavy equipment to help restore the areas that were hard-hit by the downpours that have left more than 50 people dead or missing.
'We ordered relevant military units to search for and detect landmines in areas affected by the torrential downpours,' said the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in a press release. 'The areas include Mount Umyeon, military encampments in Gyeonggi and Gangwon Provinces and the areas where wooden landmines from North Korea have been frequently discovered.'
The JCS asked that citizens immediately report to nearby military units or police any devices they come across without touching them. When a report on landmines is received, the military sends its Explosive Ordnance Disposal team to take care of them, officials said.
The military is also investigating the possibility that some landmines believed to have been planted somewhere on Mount Umyeon in southern Seoul could have been washed away by the rain.
'In the past, we carried out operations to dispose of landmines in this area. Some 10 landmines have yet to be disposed of. We are investigating whether they were washed away,' a military official said on condition of anonymity. -- THE KOREA HERALD/ANN
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